Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amenzie Brown, Owner of Ame Candle Co, located in Stamford, CT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is creating home scents. Right now, I hand-pour coconut-soy and 100% soy candles in 2 sizes (more coming soon). My goal is to fill your home with such good scents that you can't think about your worries or struggles. My customers are ideally women aged 35-35, but open to men in the same age range.
Tell us about yourself
Growing up in an immigrant household, it was instilled in my siblings and me to be a leader, not a follower, in life. Going through school, I never knew what I wanted to do with my future; I knew I wanted to be independent and have control over my days, but also I wanted something creative that I could use my hands. My family is very do-it-yourself, anytime something broke or needed to be done, we would do it ourselves. That translated into my future.
When the pandemic hit and I lost my job, it gave me an opportunity to regroup and refocus on my original plans for my life. Going through that rollercoaster of emotions that being let go puts you through is a lot. I felt disposable, like a number that needed to be slimmed down, like cattle. I hated that feeling and knew it wasn't something I wanted to feel again.
Starting my business was the best thing I did. I combined my need for creativity, a good-smelling house, and working with my hands into a business. What motivates me each day in this creative outlet is one day making it my full-time job and building this small into a brick-and-mortar shop where I can entertain shoppers and make my products under one roof.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment in owning my business is every sale or "ding" I receive. I'm an introvert, and owning an e-commerce business forces you to get out of your comfort zone and put everything out there. Also, knowing that people (outside of family) are buying my candles, leaving comments and reviews, and coming back again. It makes my day and really adds fuel to my fire.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest part of being a business owner is the slow times. When I am going through a slow season or a slow moment in a busy season eats at my confidence a lot. When I go through my lulls, I feel like a failure, that I haven't done enough, posted enough, or created a product worthy of being purchased. It doesn't happen long or often, but when they do, it takes a few days to recover. When you are the maker, promoter, photographer, everything, and something goes wrong, you have nowhere else to put that blame but back on yourself.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My top three tips to anyone thinking about starting a candle business.
- Take your time. Don't rush to figure out what your brand means to you and what you are trying to say with it. Don't just put something out there you hope will sell; put something out there you are proud of.
- Record everything. This is the digital era, everything is being pushed to be a reel/TikTok, and if you are trying to be an e-commerce business, you need to start early and become comfortable with the camera.
- Control your initial spending. When you are starting out, you are going to want to buy everything for your business you think you will need. Don't do that. Test Test Test. Buy small bags of wax, different vessels, and different wicks. As you test, sometimes your desired style will choose you, not the other way around.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Owning a business will be the most stressful but rewarding experience you will do. It will take all your time, energy, and money. But the saying is 100% true if you are doing what you love, you will never work a day in your life. I've learned so much in my business in the first two years, and I'm excited for the next 20.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.